The highlight of the Autumn Season has been our tour of Shakespeare’s “Romeo & Juliet” a tragic romance of love, loyalty, sensuality and suicide. This was an exciting, new physical theatre production, a highly visceral exploration of love and loss. Our company of young practitioners had so much attack and passion, and that, mixed with a wonderful contemporary sound track ensured that this new take on a Shakespearean classic resonated with the present day to thrilling effect.
The production was toured to our feeder schools and played to over 240 year 10 and 11 students. Our young practitioners also led physical theatre workshops with them in their schools. Romeo and Juliet returned home and played two sell out shows in Studio 816.
A 100 strong capacity audience in Studio 816 was enchanted by ClassAction’s “imagineNATION” workshare at the end of this term, featuring reimagining’s of some classic performance texts. Andrew Pullen, Head of Drama and Dance said “it was wonderful to see our students exploring classic texts and taking that into their performance practice.” The audience were treated to an eclectic mixture of dance, performance and song.
The evening began with a dynamic and pulsating version of Rosas Danst Rosas featuring ten dancers and ten chairs in rapport with one another, in a dance full of intense physical energy. Here the abstraction of movement builds and gradually allowed the audience to recognise the series of small, concrete emotional narratives being played out.
Then came the lyrical quality of Chalk Farm exploring the London riots of 2011, employing the performance techniques of Le Coq, Frantic Assembly and Tadashi Suzuki.This was followed by a wonderful dance piece inspired by the work of practitioners Siobhan Davies and Akram Khan.
The evening concluded in a celebration of Christmas with an original ballet choreographed to Tchaikovsky’s “Waltz of the Snow Flakes”. It was a very special moment watching our young practitioners, many of whom have never danced ballet, perform with such precision and clarity.
“imagineNATION” was a wonderful performance, that sent the audience home with a warmth and an understanding after a high end cultural evening.
ClassAction Theatre encourage our training practitioner to network and form professional links. This networking was formalised at the end of this term as we hosted a Practitioner’s Panel, where we welcome back ex-practitioners who are currently studying drama, dance, performing arts in some of the country’s top Drama and Dance Schools for a question and answer session with our current practitioners.
ClassAction have also supported the Waverley Federation and hosted an ACTING UP Day, of workshops, seminars and question and answer sessions for 80 Year 9 students from our feeder schools.
The day involved all these young practitioners working together exploring; Mime, Mask Work, Voice Work, Devising and Physical Theatre – followed at the end of the day by question and answer session with ex-Godalming student Max Bowden who is currently appearing as Justin Fitzgerald in the BBC’s Waterloo Road.
ClassAction have now begun pre-production work for February’s production of the ‘feel-good contemporary musical’ “Sunshine on Leith” recently made into a film. The production aims to demonstrate our diversity – a light, commercial musical - and hopefully attract a new audience to our work.